Supermadre: Women in Politics in Latin America by Elsa M. Chaney

Supermadre: Women in Politics in Latin America

byElsa M. Chaney

Paperback | August 1, 2014

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The title of this book, Supermadre, is ironic. It means, not that women have begun to exercise real power in Latin American political life, but that their participation is mostly confined to roles that are extensions of their roles as mothers—health, education, welfare, for example—and then only on the lower levels of policy-making.

Elsa Chaney begins her study with an examination of various attempts to explain women's virtual absence from decision-making councils not only in Latin America but also world-wide, concluding that their motherhood role has had the profoundest effect on the nature of their political activities. She then analyzes the images and realities of women in Latin American society from colonial times to the present.

The remainder of the book is a detailed study of women in politics and government in Latin America, with emphasis on the contrasting cases of Peru and Chile. In conclusion, Chaney suggests that women will make only slow progress toward full participation in public life until they themselves stop seeing their role in politics as that of the supermadre.

About The Author

Elsa M. Chaney (1928–2000) was a private consultant on women in development. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Details & Specs

Title:Supermadre: Women in Politics in Latin AmericaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:222 pages, 9.03 × 6.04 × 0.55 inPublished:August 1, 2014Publisher:University of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292772637

ISBN - 13:9780292772632

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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Women and Development
  • 1. The Inferior Role of Women in Public Life: Some Theoretical Speculations
  • 2. Women in Latin American Society and Polity: The Image and the Reality
  • 3. Women in Public Life: Precursors of the Emancipation Movement
  • 4. Old and New Feminists: Women’s Rights in Latin America
  • 5. Women in Politics and Government
  • 6. Women Leaders in Peru and Chile
  • 7. The Supermadre in Government
  • 8. The Future of Women in Politics
  • Appendices
  • Bibliography
  • Index